Thursday, December 27, 2007

Near death experience?

Joya and I went out for our usual morning thrashing around 7:00. Things have been ever so slightly mellower for the past few days, waves head high instead of twelve feet high, so things have been a bit more manageable.

Anyways, the waves were a bit crazy this morning, and we spent much of the time just playing in the whitewater practicing our popups and generally goofing around. Now and then, things would flatten out enough that I would paddle out and try to catch a real wave and ride it in before it broke.

On one such occasion, I'm sitting outside of the main breaks waiting and I see a big set come in. One problem with Hermosa is that it's always big, there really is never a time when the average wave is less than five feet. Which means that occasionally big sets roll through where the waves are twice that tall, even on the smallest of days. You only really have two options when you see a big set roll in: a) paddle towards Australia, so they don't break on you or b) try to catch one and get out of the way of the others. Since I'm in no shape to catch these, I started paddling. Up and over the first steep pitch, I see the next coming at me.. paddle.. paddle.. Made that one too, but it was clear as I came over the back side of the second, that the third would crash right on me. Onto option b, though this was far over my head (in more ways than one) I tried to catch it.

You can all imagine what happened next.. it sucked me up the face and in a scene straight out of 'worst case scenarios while surfing' it pummeled me over the falls just as it broke. I will admit this wasn't the first time, so as before I assumed the fetal position to wait it out.

This is where it gets weird. Just after crashing in, everything turned perfectly still. No water rushing by, no being tumbled, not even the sound of the wave passing through. I just floated underwater in my tuck, perfectly still, untouched. It was so shocking and lasted so long that the thought crossed my mind that I might actually be dead. I just sat there for three or four seconds, perfectly still, then finally untucked and swam to the surface.

All was well of course, I pulled my board in and rode the next wave's whitewater on my tummy in, but it was an odd experience. Don't worry mom, these waves aren't killers, just enlightening.

1 comment:

Ted Diamond said...

Nic, if you die, I am going to kill you.